Arab technology leaders storm onto list of powerful Arabs

New report on the world's most influential Arabs shows technology specialists in prime positions

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By  Quintin Smith Published  March 30, 2008

ArabianBusiness.com has released the yearly Power 100 report on the world’s 100 most influential Arabs with the region’s technology leaders playing a prominent role on the list.

In total seven figures from the technology industry make the Power 100. By contrast only three sporting figures and five specialists in travel and hospitality make the cut.

The list is topped by His Royal Highness Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, with Iraqi footballer Younes Mahmoud coming in 2nd following Iraq’s victory in the recent Asian Cup.

The highest placed Arab technology leader came in at position 13. Egyptian aerospace genius Farook Al Baz had a major role in the Apollo space program working as a supervisor, though today examines satellite imagery to better understand the desert.

At position 32 is another Egyptian, venture capitalist and Orascom head Naguib Sawiris, who most recently acquired a $12bn controlling stake in holding company Weather Investments.

Another telecoms specialist to make the list is Kuwaiti Saad Al Barrak at number 50. Zain’s been going from strength to strength due to Barrak’s efforts, and this year saw him secure Zain’s claims to the third mobile license in Saudi Arabia. Zain is now the fourth-largest telecoms operator in the world when measured by geographic presence.

The other technology figures to make the list were Etisalat chairman Mohammed Omran, Sharaf Group chairman and Virgin Galactic customer Ibrahim Sharaf, Du CEO Osman Sultan and Celtel founder Mohamed Ibrahim.

Anil Bhoyrul, Group Editor of Arabian Business magazine, explains how the list was chosen: By power “we mean influence - the ability to influence the thoughts and actions of others. Or put crudely, if one man dyed his hair green, how many others would follow? The more that did, the more powerful that man is”.

You can access the full Arabian Power 100 list here.

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